30.07.2016 12:14 - in: Tour - Field S

    Juventus Jeep Tour ends on a high

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    Goals from Medhi Benatia and Lorenzo Rosseti ensure the Bianconeri end the Juventus Jeep Tour 2016 on a high following a 2-1 win over South China in Hong Kong

    Massimiliano Allegri’s men rounded off their eastern travels on the Juventus Jeep Tour 2016 with a comfortable 2-1 win over South China this afternoon at a sweltering Hong Kong Stadium.

    Falling behind early on, the Bianconeri quickly recovered and deservedly reversed the deficit through Medhi Benatia, the Moroccan scoring his second goal in his many matches, and Lorenzo Rosetti in an entertaining and physical affair played in front of a passionate local support.

    Donning their traditional black and white stripes for the second time this summer, the Italian champions were in fact unfortunate not to take the lead themselves inside the first quarter of an hour as Alex Sandro struck a post before Alberto Cerri was denied by goalkeeper Tsang Man Fai, both from precise Paulo Dybala set-piece deliveries.

    The hosts would quickly make them pay for their profligacy on 21 minutes, midfielder Chan Siu Ki capitalising on confusion in the Bianconeri backline after a half-cleared free-kick to shuffle inside and fire past Neto.

    Juve found an equaliser however less than five minutes later. After Grigoris Kastanos was fouled 25 yards from goal, Medhi Benatia pounced on Miralem Pjanic’s blocked free-kick to poke home from close range for his second strike in as many pre-season outings.

    The lively Dybala would test the busy home keeper twice more from distance before the break but South China hung on to end the first half on level terms.

    Allegri rang the changes during the interval introducing Emil Audero, Luca Marrone, Mattia Vitale and Rosseti in place of Norberto Neto, Benatia, Miralem Pjanic and Alberto Cerri and the youngsters quickly settled into the game to extend Juve’s territorial control into the second period.

    Two of the half’s early opportunities fell to striker Rosseti – on loan at Cesena last year – who was unlucky to squeeze a shot past the post from Alex Sandro’s cut back and then put an awkward half-volley wide from a good position shortly before the hour mark.

    A second round of substitutions handed fellow Primavera players Carlos Blanco Moreno, Luca Coccolo, Giulio Parodi, Yoan Severin and Stefano Padovan a further chance to impress first-team boss Allegri and Juve’s youthful lineup more than held their own in keeping the hosts camped deep in their own half.

    The long-awaited breakthrough finally came in the closing stages as Rosseti righted the wrongs of his previous chances, showing quick feet to step aside the goalkeeper and roll into an unguarded net after Padovan’s shot had been spilled.

    The young centre-forward could well have added a second before the final whistle were it not for substitute stopper Mora’s superb point-blank save in stoppage time.

    With the new 2016/17 Serie A season now just three weeks away, attentions can now turn to building on the good foundations laid in the past fortnight in both Australia and Hong Kong on the champions’ return to Italian soil on Sunday.

    Before facing Fiorentina at Juventus Stadium on 20 August, the Old Lady will head to London to inaugurate West Ham’s new home, the Olympic Stadium, on 7 August while the Bianconeri will complete their preparations in traditional fashion with an in-house friendly at Villar Perosa on 17 August.

    Juventus XI first half: Neto, Rugani, Benatia, Alex Sandro, Hernanes, Macek, Kastanos, Pjanic, Pereyra, Dybala, Cerri

    Juventus XI second half: Audero, Rugani (Blanco Moreno 62’), Marrone, Alex Sandro (Coccolo 62’), Hernanes (Parodi 62’), Macek, Kastanos, Vitale, Pereyra (Severin 62’), Dybala (Padovan 62’), Rosseti

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